This is the first of three posts with my favorite albums of the year. Music is subjective, like all other pieces of art. I picked these albums because they were the most entertaining to me. I will start out with my Top 5 Rap/Hip Hop releases.
5) J Cole – Born Sinner
J. Cole always seemed like he was on the edge of being a huge rap star. He had the skills, the look and the support but he just didn’t seem to be able to put it all together. With Born Sinner, Cole seems to finally have put out an album that cannot be avoided. It is catchy, part conscious, furious and real. It is everything that I have been waiting for. Check out tracks like: the title track, “Crooked Smile”, and “She Knows”
4) Kanye West Yeezus
I am one of Kanye’s biggest fans but this is, in my opinion, his weakest work. It is funny how my most anticipated album going into this year only ended up as number 4 on this list. It is however a great piece of art and one of the best things that was put out in rap music this year. Kanye continues to innovate and even after years of being a rapper he is even more furious and angry here. Songs like: “New Slaves”, “Bound 2” and “Black Skinhead” are some of the best songs ever.
3) Talib Kweli – Prisoner of Conscious
Talib is the man. There are so many different styles and tracks on this very album. It is diverse. He plays to all of his fans. He has some street anthems, r & b laced radio jams, and conscious thoughtful tracks as well. “It Only Gets Better” is one of my all time favorite tracks. Match that up with “Come Here”, “Hamster Wheel” and “Rocketships” and you have one of the year best albums.
2) Lecrae – Church Clothes 2
Christian rap seems like a joke at times but I am glad that Lecrae is around to make the genre more legitimate. He is honest and real and takes a look at life the way it is. This album is the follow up to last year’s stellar mixtape. It is a great follow up to it. With tracks like: “The Finer Things”, “Believe”, “I’m Turnt” keep Lecrae at the top of his game.
1) Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail
This was one of the easiest selections of the year. This year wasn’t the most outstanding year of music in recent memory especially in rap. That is not to say that this is not the best rap release of the year. Because it is. I like all of it. I think Jay-Z did a really great job on this one. There was great production and guests on this album. There were so many gems on it including: “Holy Grail”, “BBC”, and “F.U.T.W”. If you haven’t listened to this album already do yourself a favor and listen to it.
Eminem-The Marshall Mathers LP2; Ace Hood – Trials And Tribulations; A$AP Rocky – Long Live A$AP; Wale – The Gifted; Pusha T – My Name Is My Name